Just heard about this. It seems it was quite deliberate to make it difficult for men to pray. Maybe reintroducing some of Ataturk's tactics is required?
Turkey’s Glorious Hat Revolution by Kaya Gençhttps://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/turkeys-glorious-hat-revolutionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atatürk's_Reforms
November 11th, 2013 RESET - +
THE WORLD'S first hat revolution took place in Turkey in 1925. On November 25 of that year, the parliament passed a law that made it mandatory for all men to wear Western-style hats in public places; all civil servants had to wear them, and no other type of hat would be allowed. Those who went hatless would be left alone, but if one wanted to wear a hat then one had to either wear the proposed model (and not the traditional turban or fez) or face the consequences, which could be as severe as the death penalty.
Before the “Hat Law” was passed in parliament, the Turkish revolutionary Mustafa Kemal had visited the Anatolian town of Inebolu where he gave an impassioned speech (later dubbed “The Hat Sermon”) to a group of bemused Anatolians. “Masters,” he said (Kemal always addressed his audience as “masters” and once said the peasants were “the true masters of the country”):
The people who constitute the Turkish nation are a civilized bunch. It is historically and essentially civilized. But I have to inform you, as a brother of yours, as your friend and as your father ... that members of the Turkish nation who call themselves civilized must prove and show that they are intellectually civilized as well. They must show how civilized they are through their family life and lifestyles.
Kemal asked his audience two important questions: “Is our dress nationalistic? Is our dress civilized and universal?” Both were received with enthusiastic cries of “No! No! It’s not!” He then inquired whether it was conceivable for a nation to be lacking a proper national dress. “Does it make sense to daub a very precious jewel with mud?” he asked rhetorically. “If there is a jewel inside the mud then we need to wipe away the mud in order to reveal the jewel; this is only natural and necessary.” Kemal’s request for wiping away the mud was followed by specifications of his sartorial vision for his countrymen. “We shall wear Oxford shoes or alternately, ankle shoes from now on; and trousers, waistcoats, shirts, ties, removable collars, jackets and most naturally, hats.” In an attempt to better explain the cultural significance of the hat, he added, “This is something like a redingote, a bonjour, a smoking coat, a frock. Here it is.” Placing the hat on his head, Kemal concluded, “Some people say it is not lawful to wear it. And I say to them you are absentminded and ignorant!”